I have a confession to make, there is a little piece of me that dies every single time someone suggests to someone else that they should 'get over it'. The 'it' being whatever personal issue that person has. 'It' may be an argument with a family member, death of parent/child/sibling/friend, abuse suffered at the hands of parent/child/sibling/friend/stranger, etc. There is a trauma that every person in the history of mankind has suffered that they cannot 'get over'. It doesn't matter how long ago it happened, whether it happened to them or someone that they loved, this trauma has scarred them forever. It is a deep, open, never healing wound for the traumatized.
To be told to 'get over it' will invariably provoke one of two responses, Option #1- The traumatized will begin to feel guilty about not getting over it and will still not be able to get over it. Option #2- The traumatized person will tell the cold hearted douchecanoe to go f*ck themselves and never speak to them again. In my case, it will always depend on who tells me to 'get over it'. If it's someone who doesn't really hold any significant place in my life I will always, without any hesitation, go with Option #2. Admittedly, my option #2 will includes a no warning onset of Defcon 1, emptying of the missile silos, and scorched earth left in my wake as I have a very low bullshit threshold. Others have mastered the art of telling people to go f*ck themselves with a civility I will never be able to muster. I learned that about myself a long time ago, I'm okay with that part of me in this situation. If it is, however, someone I do have a strong connection with, someone I cannot imagine NOT having in my life, I go with Option #1.
People who you love, who love you, who don't understand your grief/apprehension/anger/guilt are the ones who cut the deepest. Those people make you question yourself, which is the last thing you should be doing when it comes to your visceral need to grieve/protect/rage or whatever it is you're doing that they think you should be done doing by now. You can't be done, because your heart and mind tell you that you are not done yet. In my case, it's been 15 years since the death of my infant daughter. I'm not over it, I'm not going to ever be over it, but some loved ones think I should be.
My trauma is not your trauma, yours is not mine, and we can't know what it will take to relieve someone else's burden that their trauma has brought them; or if it can ever be relieved. To stand by as someone you know is dealing with their issue and smugly suggest that they 'get over it' is the height of asshattery. To refuse acknowledge that they may never get over something is the essence of douchebaggery. And here is something about yourselves Mr/Mrs. Getoverit that you need to recognize, to suggest that someone has it within themselves to just 'get over it' and the sad sack just won't? That my dear friend, is an act of supreme selfishness.
You do not get to decide when someone has grieved enough, raged enough, cried enough, feared enough. You do not get to dictate when the mourning period ends. We, who are unable to GET OVER IT, now live our lives in two separate periods, BT (Before Trauma) and AT (After Trauma). Do you think for one moment that we don't spend time wishing to be the whole people we were BT? Do you think we don't hate the AT version of ourselves that can't listen to certain songs, watch certain movies, see certain people with having mild breakdowns? If you do, you're wrong. You couldn't be more wrong. You are so far past wrong that it would take the light from right a million years to reach where you are. We wish we could live BT. We wish we never knew that there existed a period of time known as AT.
I say all of that so I can say this, before you tell someone to 'get over it' you should probably stop and consider that the life we live, the life full of grief/apprehension/anger/guilt, is not the life we imagined for ourselves. Realize before you hurt someone you love, that they didn't ask to live this way. Consider for a moment, before you forever alter the course of your relationship with this person, that some things cannot be gotten over. Getting over it is great in theory and impossible in reality. And finally, try to understand that not getting over it is sometimes the only way we can hold on to the memory of our lost loved ones, lost innocence, lost hope, or lost dream. We can't enjoy the good without suffering through the bad, so we won't be 'getting over it' any time soon. I suggest YOU get over our not getting over it.
Dad Blogger, Redux
3 days ago